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Study: Washington ranked 5th worst state to retire, with Nebraska 1st

(Jesse Bowser, Unsplash)

Moving out of Seattle to another Washington town is a somewhat familiar pattern for folks looking to retire, but according to one study, they should probably be leaving the state as well.

The Bankrate.com study found Washington is the fifth worst state in the country to spend your twilight years, based on factors including affordability, crime, culture, weather, and wellness, among others. Only Illinois, Alaska, New York, and Maryland fared worse, with Maryland coming in at dead last, reports KOMO.

What’s the best state to retire in according to the study? That’d be Nebraska.

“I can’t imagine that a lot of people that like whatever the Pacific Northwest has to offer wouldn’t find it Nebraska,” joked KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney. “But in terms of how far your money goes that makes a lot of sense to me.”

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Washington took a hit on the affordability metric, where we ranked 41st. The affordability ranking was calculated based on research from the 2019 Cost of Living Index, the percentages of people “who needed to see a doctor but could not because of cost in the past 12 months from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and rankings for income,” and property and sales tax rates.

Washington also ranked 37th in crime, 25th in culture, 36th in weather (assuming you like heat), and 37th in wellness, which was based on the availability of places providing services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

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Why is Nebraska the Shangri-La of retirement states? The state scored high on affordability (ranking 14th, with Missouri coming in at 1st), and placed in the top 20 for crime and wellness (at 19th and 8th, respectively).

“Nebraska reminds you of that old joke about ‘Retire here, a week feels like a couple years.'”

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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